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Volume 20 No. 45
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Security veteran Jeff Miller starts his own consulting firm

Don Muret
The demand for security consulting services across sports drove Jeff Miller’s decision to start his own venture specializing in risk vulnerability.

Miller, the NFL’s former chief security officer, is launching Jeffrey Miller Consulting this week. Miller plans to work with a group of five former federal agents and police officers to supply security services.

“I get a lot of calls from team owners, sports and entertainment venues and colleges,” Miller said. “Having my own firm is something I always wanted to do after spending almost 25 years in law enforcement and eight years with the NFL. It’s the right time to do it.”

The firm is based in San Diego, where Miller lives.

At the NFL, Miller developed the league’s clear-bag policy in 2013, designed as a fan safety measure and a way to speed up the lines entering the stadium. Five seasons later, the policy remains in effect at the NFL’s 31 facilities.

Over the past 18 months, Miller has been an executive with MSA Security. He will continue to do some work for MSA with regard to security and consulting on game integrity, which is connected to gambling-related issues in college sports.

Miller has about a dozen pro and college clients at his own firm, some of which he brought over from MSA. They include the Los Angeles Rams and their new $2.6 billion stadium under construction in Inglewood.

As he ramps up his business, Miller sees plenty of interest in security consulting after the mass shootings and terrorist activities at venues in Paris, Orlando and most recently Las Vegas.

Many teams and facilities contacting Miller have told him that they’re aware of the need to develop additional security procedures to protect their patrons but that they’re not sure where to start, he said.

“Rather than putting a bunch of systems in place, what they really need is a detailed assessment and a plan to follow,” he said. “There’s a lot of soft targets out there and they don’t understand how they’re at risk. We can prioritize things they can do first to reduce the risk they face.”

TENNESSEE WALTZ: During the process of choosing a designer for Neyland Stadium’s south end zone renovation, at least one national sports architect decided it was not worth the risk to share its plans with a competitor tied to the project.

Populous completed a master plan last year for what will ultimately total $340 million in improvements to the University of Tennessee’s football stadium. Under state law, though, Populous is prohibited from filling the role of architect-of-record to design the upgrades.

Populous could have teamed with a local architect to fill the role as design consultant, but that scenario carried a certain degree of risk if the State Building Commission selected a different team for the project, said Craig Kaufman, a senior architect and a principal with the firm.

But school officials preferred to keep Populous on board to help bridge the gap between the master plan and design phases. As a result, the architect is serving as owner’s representative. Typically, third-party firms such as Icon Venue Group, Legends and PC Sports fill that role.

Populous has been an owner’s rep on a few other projects, including current renovations to Raymond James Stadium, but it’s not a role the firm usually takes on in sports development, Kaufman said.

In Knoxville, the situation was among the factors that HNTB, which specializes in college football renovations, considered before deciding not to pursue the Neyland upgrades, said Gerardo Prado, the company’s vice president and sports group director.

“It forces a firm like us to not be able to share all proprietary information at interviews, which could potentially impact the client’s ability to make a fully informed decision on the selection of the most qualified design team,” Prado said.

In addition, HOK and AECOM did not bid for the Neyland job, confirmed officials from those two firms. Neither cited the situation with Populous as a factor.

The team of Heery and local firms Cope Architecture and MHM was selected to complete the south end zone design, a $180 million project.

Don Muret can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @breakground.